…open my heart, and let me prepare love with Thy children thus to share. —-Clara H. Scott, 1895
Preparation for worship
Sit in a relaxed position. Take a slow, deep breath (or 2 or 3 or as many as needed) until you feel your body, mind, and soul begin to relax and rest in the Spirit. Take time to reflect as you move through this time of worship…
Opening Sentences Rev. 5: 12-13
Worthy is Christ, the Lamb who was slain.
Blessing and honor and glory to God!
Prayer Book of Common Worship, PC(USA)
form the minds of your faithful people into a single will.
Make us love what you command
and desire what you promise,
that, amid all the changes of this world,
our hearts may be fixed where true joy is found;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
Mothering God Glory to God #7
The images in this hymn, written in the early 90’s, are inspired by the writings of Julian of Norwich, a medieval mystic and writer. It is sung by Ariel Merivel of First-Plymouth United Church in Lincoln, Nebraska. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day: Matthew 6: 25-34
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Prayers for self and others
Please pray today for those who are being affected by COVID 19, including Mark Sabala and Marcy Szeliga in their work as nurses, Linda and Mario Berrios and their family, Debbi’s neighbors and all others who are out of work, Star Sims’ family and Donna Ardell’s family, as they grieve the loss of their loved ones, for Connie’s Aunt Bonnie and her two cousins— Bonnie is hospitalized with the virus, and for Art Eberle, husband of Mary Margaret Crestani Eberle, in ICU with serious infection and being tested for Covid as well. As we hear of more friends who are directly affected, or who are working in high risk places, we will list them here. Use this time to lift your joys, concerns, and hopes to God.
May the God of hope
fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that you may abound in hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Becky Downs, pastor of John Knox, started writing daily prayers for the congregation at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, to encourage the congregation in their faith during their time of separation from each other. The daily prayers were posted throughout the year. You might want to choose one a day to read, and modify the specific prayers for self and others to fit your life today.